fixed : repair corrupt RAR-files on your Mac

Question :

I have some RAR-archive-files on my Mac that I would like to decompress/unarchive. I have tried several unarchiver-applications, but they all end up telling me that the RAR-file is corrupted.

Is there any way to fix this ?

Answer :

RAR (which stands for Roshal ARchive) is a very popular file-compression that is developed and maintained by the Roshal brothers Eugene & Alexander. Their RAR & unRAR utility is called WinRAR (for Windows) or simply RAR (for all other platforms including MacOSX).

One interesting thing about WinRAR/RAR is that it is also capable of repairing corrupted RAR-archive-files. Slight down-side is that the utility doesn’t have a graphic interface (GUI) like most MacOSX-apps… it is a ‘command line only’ tool…

To repair damaged RAR-archive-files on MacOSX, do this :

– download WinRAR/RAR for MacOSX from the Roshal brothers’ website :

NOTE : if you want to be sure you get the latest version of RAR for MacOSX, go to this website to find it :

– After downloading, open the Terminal app that is in the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder and drop the “rar” program file from the “rarosx” folder onto the terminal window.

– Then make sure there’s a space (by typing on the SPACE-bar of your keyboard)

– Then type “r” (without the quotes).

– Then make sure there’s another space (by typing on the SPACE-bar of your keyboard again).

– Then drop the file you want repaired onto the terminal window (it’ll give the path and name of the file).

– Then make sure there’s another space (typ the SPACE-bar)

– and type “/Users/yourname/Desktop” or wherever you want the fixed file to be delivered.

(if you want to deliver to a specific destination folder, it may be easier to just drop the folder where you want it placed onto the terminal window again so there’s no chance at typos)

– Then hit “return” and the repair scan will start. if the file has a recovery record, it will say that it was found almost immediately. Then the repairing the file will start. (this might take a couple of minutes, depending on the size of the file)

– After that, double click the repaired RAR-archive-file to have it unRARed

…that should do the trick!

NOTE : the file will have the prefix “rebuilt” appended to the beginning of the filename. You’ll need to delete that once the repair process has completed before you attempt to join the files again.


40 thoughts on “fixed : repair corrupt RAR-files on your Mac

    • @karan :

      Thanks for your feedback.
      The problem you are encountering isn’t clear, you’re description is a little short on useable info.

      Can you please specify what application is telling you “permission denied” and at what stadium of the process outlined in the original post you are getting the “permission denied” error ?

      Thanks !

      • i have the same error after doing all your steps and i am logged in into macbook pro as admin can you please help?

      • @filipe :

        Thanks for your feedback.
        Sorry to hear this doesn’t work for you yet.

        it isn’t clear what you mean by “the same error”, so it’s not clear what the exact problem you want help on… however :

        Going to the website learns there are now 2 versions of WinRAR :
        a FREE and a payed version. The FREE version is available here :
        ( the latest version for OSX at time of writing is 5.3.0 )

        I would assume that this version of WinRAR still works as previous versions did, but please note that the original post dates from November 2012, which is over 3 years ago, so things might have changed since…

        The added value of the payed version isn’t clear to me. It turns out that the payed version of WinRAR is linked to WinZIP, a product of the Corel software company, so you might be able to get valuable info from them :

        Good Luck !

  1. Thank you for posting such clear step-by-step instructions on how to repair corrupted .rar files.
    However, I’ve got a slightly different problem: Is there a way I can create missing (password-protected) .rar files with available .rev files through Terminal? BTW, I obviously got the password.

    Apparently it can be done easily on Windows machines and some Mac users claim they did it with UnRarX, but I just couldn’t make it work. UnRarX does recognise the recovery volumes but doesn’t do anything about it.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    • @Nathan :

      Thanks for your compliments !

      To be honest, I don’t know of a quick solution to the problem you’re encountering.
      Good Luck !

  2. sorry my English s***s
    I have problem understanding the steps you so kindly provided
    would you please post some pictures?


  3. It’s too complicated for a dolt like me. I am unclear by what you mean by ‘rar file.’ I wish someone would say, “the downloaded rar file in your downloads.” I also keyed in rarosx – that folder doesn’t exist. Thanks for your help, though! I’m sorry I am too thick to get it!! ;`[

    • @Johannes Bols:

      Thanks for the feedback.

      rar file = a file with “.rar” as it’s file extension = a file with a “.rar” file name ending = a file that has been compressed using the RAR method of file compression, and should be decompressed before revealing the original file (which could be a .jpg-picture or a .doc-Word-document or any other file type)

      “in your downloads” = located in your downloads folder (by default, your downloads folder is the folder named Downloads, but some people have chosen to redirect their downloads to some other folder ; if your downloads are not in your folder named Downloads, have a look on your Desktop, as the Desktop folder is another location that is commonly used to download files to ; else, have a look in your Safari Settings to see which folder you have set to download to)

      BEWARE : this solution involves using the Terminal-app, which doesn’t have a Graphical User Interface (GUI), so it’s only lines of computer programming code that you have to work in ; that is something only advanced computer users should do, as you risk messing up your entire Mac if you do not understand the directions given and/or you do not follow them to the letter…

      I would suggest asking someone with advanced computer skills to do this for you if you consider your own skills too basic, else you would normally be best off not trying this at all…
      If you are not an advanced user yet, you should only try this if you are interested in learning more about what’s behind the day-to-day facade of your Mac AND you have a lot of time and frustration to spare…

      Hope this helps 😉

  4. wait…i didnt understand the last part …can u explain it in easy words?the NOTE part? the file will have the prefix “rebuilt” appended to the beginning of the filename….what does that mean?

    • @Johnny Storm :

      it only means that if the original file name was “something-pt1.rar” the rebuild version will automatically be called “rebuilt-something-pt1.rar” and you’ll have to rename that to “something-pt1.rar” before you can rejoin it with “something-pt2.rar” and “something-pt3.rar” during the unRAR-ing

      does that make sense ?
      enjoy !

  5. This fix unfortunately did not work for me, however I found another method which achieved my desired result :).

    Using Wineskin Winery, I created a skin and installed the trial of winRAR (windows 32 bit)

    I opened the RAR file with the new wineskin application and right-clicked the shown folder and selected “extract to a specified folder” (Z:/Users/Name/Desktop)

    I hope this helped people having similar issues :).

    • @li0n7900 :

      Thanks for your feedback !

      And thank you for the tip on using WinRAR !

      Just one question : if you wanted to (or had to) use WinRAR, why didn’t you just use the macOS-version of WinRAR ?
      the FREE version of WinRAR 5.50 for OSX/macOS can be downloaded at :

      I am planning to include your alternative solution in the original post, but before I do so, could you do something for me please ?
      Would you be able to test if the WinRAR for macOS would also have been able to repair your corrupt .rar-file ?
      (I hope you still have a copy of the corrupt version)

      Looking forward to hearing from you.
      Thanks !

      • I downloaded a newer version of where I got the corrupt file from, (still corrupt, I checked) and winRAR macosx

        Unfortunately I’m not very tech savvy, so if there’s a way to open the file with the mac version, I couldn’t find it

        After that attempt I tried to open the file again in the windows version of winRAR and again it worked.

        I’m sorry that I couldn’t be more help 😦

      • @li0n7900 :

        Thank you very much for the feedback.
        As I am not completely sure on the reason why you are experiencing problems,
        I have contracted WinRAR-developer RARlab on this.
        I’ll keep you posted on this when I get feedback from them.

      • the reply from WinRAR-Support :

        > Is it true that there is a difference in features between the Windows and the MacOSX versions of WinRAR ?

        RAR for MAC OS X is a command line version, it does not have a graphical interface.
        It works the same way like RAR.exe from the WinRAR distribution.

        Please read RAR.txt for further information.

        But using WinRAR in Wine should be work exactly the same way like on WinRAR on Windows.

        > Why is the MacOSX version of WinRAR 5.50 only available in 32bit ?

        The command line version RAR for MAC OS X is only available in 32bit,
        because at time we have only a few requests for a command line 64 bit version.

        We use the source of RAR.exe to compile command line versions for all operation systems.

  6. Hello ! Your steps worked and I could see in Terminal how every element was found and the process done – but in the end it just rebuilt a new corrupted .rar file of the same size. 😀

    • @Christopher :

      Thanks for the feedback !
      sorry to hear it doesn’t work for you (yet)
      is your rar-file a download maybe ? a re-download of the same rar-file might work in that case…
      …or could it be you accidentally tried to open the original rar-file ? (and not the repaired one – that has a filename starting with “rebuilt…”)
      an other solution could be to run the corrupted rar-file through WinRAR in Windows, or WinRAR for Windows running on Mac using PlayOnMac or something alike

      hope this helps
      Good Luck !

  7. Many thanks for the clear, detailed instructions!

    My file with corrupt headers is a massive 80 GB behemoth and the repair process is proceeding now for some 5 hours. I’m hopeful all will be well once it is finished and I complete the last few instructions.

    Even though I’ve worked from a Unix prompt before, the drag and drop business is very slick and avoids the tediousness of having to manually type in the path statement.

    Very nice to learn something new.

    Thanks again!

    • @Rocky :

      Thanks for the feedback !
      I’m curious to know it finally worked out for you… do you have any idea how long it took ?

      enjoy !

  8. Hello!

    Thank you for providing such a detailed method but sadly it didn’t work for me. Here is the log I got from the terminal, could you please take a look and suggest me another way to fix the file?(If possible:( )

    Searching for recovery record 100%
    Data recovery record not found
    Searching for recovery record
    Unexpected end of archive
    Unexpected end of archive
    Data recovery record not found
    Reconstructing /Users/ellis/Desktop/iPhone photo 5/iPhone photo 5.rar
    Building rebuilt.iPhone photo 5.rar 100%
    No files found

    Thank you very much!

    • @Ellis :

      Thanks for the feedback.
      Sorry to hear this hasn’t worked for you (yet).

      Judging from the info you’re providing, there seem to be 2 options :
      1- the RAR-file you are trying to repair isn’t broken, it’s empty… so, try downloading it again
      2- the name of the RAR-file you are trying to repair doesn’t correspond with the name you are referring to, so the file cannot be found

      Hope this helps,
      Good Luck !

      • That also appears for me! I checked if this two things you mentioned applies for me, but, apparently no. Is there any other reason why it doesn’t work for me?

      • @Victor :

        Thanks for your feedback !

        Could it be you have made a typo ?
        What exactly do you mean by “That also appears for me!” ? Did auto-correct mess-up while you were trying to typ “That also happend to me!” or something similar ?
        What is the word “That” referring to ? The same problem that Ellis is describing maybe ?

        anyway… if the method outlined in the original post doesn’t work for you, you could try running WinRAR on a Windows PC or you cloudeven try to run in within WINE on your Mac…
        else… try contacting the developers of WinRAR and figure out an alternative solution with them…
        Good Luck 😉

  9. i have exactly the same issue as Ellis in that it shows that its rebuilding the file and yet the location where its rebuilding the file is empty and it completes the process with the ”
    No Files Found

    Please advise if this was fixed as im currently downloading the rar file again. Would it be better to unrar the file in windows then launch the completed file the other rar file on Mac afterwards?

    Would really appreciate if you would be able to help. Its doing my bonce in

    • @Dan :

      Thanks for your feedback !
      Sorry to hear this hasn’t worked for you yet…

      If you have a Windows PC at hand, you might give it a try to repair the corrupted RAR-file in Windows.
      It’s odd that it doesn’t work if you use the procedure outlined above, so you might give using a Windows PC a try if you have one 😉
      Good Luck !

  10. Permission denied. This happen at the last but one step, where you wrote “Then hit return”. Then I hit return and the terminal just outputs: -bash: /Users//Desktop/.rar: Permission denied

    • …and the terminal just outputs: -bash: /Users/myname/Desktop/rarfilename.rar: Permission denied

      • @Vanni :

        Sorry to hear this doesn’t work for you (yet).
        It’s been a while since this post was written, so I’m not really into the details anymore.
        The “Permission denied” error seems to indicate that either the path you have used in the Terminal isn’t correct or that the file is protected.
        Did you make sure that the actual file is located in the place/folder that you have specified in the path you are using ?
        If you are sure that the path is correct, then there might be some file protection active :
        Is there a lock (padlock) visible on the icon of the file maybe ? (if so, select the file and use Get Info to open the window where you can turn off file protection)
        Or are you on macOS 10.15 Catalina of macOS 11 Big_Sur maybe ? (if so, there might be some file protection active that you need to turn of temporarily in System Preferences)

        Hope this helps !
        Good Luck 😉

      • Thank you very much for your reply. The archive is not protected. But eventually I discover that I missed a “/”: you wrote “and type Users/yourname/Desktop”, without “/” before “Users”; adding a “/” fixed the problem for me.

        However this did not allows me to extract one of the files inside the archive. The problem seems to be that file has some special characters, as during the extraction it throws me the error “Cannot create (rarfilename)01. ￾ast orѐum ofar.flac Illegal byte sequence”. Do you think this is due to some kind of corruption?


      • @Vanni :

        Thank you for pointing out that a “/” was missing in the instructions. It updated in the original post now.

        After some searches online, it seems like the “Illegal Byte Sequence”-error can best be resolved by replacing the “unzip”-command by a “ditto”-command, but this post is not about unZIP-ing, but about unRAR-ing, so it’s not sure if using the “ditto”-command could solve this.
        Another suggestion is to make sure that both the file name and the path (i.e. the folder names involved) only include letters from the regular ‘English’ alphabet (so no punctuation marks, spaces, emoji, Cyrillic, Chinese or similar letters).
        Furthermore, if the file you want to unRAR is inside oddly named folders, that might also confuse the unRAR-process, so start by putting the file you want to unRAR on the Desktop and try the unRAR-process again.

        Hope this helps ! Good Luck 😉

  11. Hello,

    If it doesn’t work,

    Try to compress and uncompress the .rar file using the 7zip software.

    You will then have an uncompressed flash file.

    Good Luck

    • @Tom :
      Thanks for the tip !
      The original post is from November 2012 (if I’m correct) …so about 8,5 years ago …a lot has changed since, but the solution outlined in the original post still works.
      The 7zip-app couldn’t do the trick back in 2012, but assuming it has gotten various updates since, the latest version might be able to do the trick… if it works, it’s very simple so it’s worth giving 7zip a try.
      The only thing is… you are mentioning your end-result is a Flash file… does it work for RAR-compressed Flash-files only ?
      Thanks !

  12. Greetings,
    I D/L three RAR compressed files using an old Mac (OS 10.7.5 – that’s all the machine will handle). Trying to use StuffIt Expander, the error states “The Structure Of The File is Damaged. Error: 17405). I then followed your instructions and D/L WinZip 64-bit, installed as described and typed all code into the command line as required. I now receive “-bash: r: command not found.” Please help me if possible and Thank You for your guidance.

    • @Curtis Fry :

      Thanks for the feedback !
      Sorry to hear you are running into problems…
      Since the original post is 9 years old, I am not 100% sure if things still work the same as they did a decade ago…
      Even though I would expect Terminal commands to still work the same, I am not sure…
      My best suggestions are :
      1- make sure you follow the procedure outlined in the original post to the letter (i.e. exactly as outlined)
      2- go through al the reactions given below the original post and see if one of the suggestions given will also benefit you… (I would thing that the suggestion to use the 7zip software to compress and decompress might help…)

      Good Luck !

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